Fundamentals for Hooves - From Heel to Toe

Posted by TLC Animal Nutrition, Inc on 10/31/2017 to Education and Interest

Keeping our horses happy and healthy often seems like a full time job. What we want to do is provide you with the shortcut to getting the job done in the most efficient manner. In other words, cutting through the red tape and getting to the heart of the matter. When considering how to best support the growth and development of a healthy hoof there are a number of factors to consider.

I am going to begin with the one that people are most familiar with, Biotin. A member of the B vitamin family and a co-enzyme, Biotin plays a role in collagen formation and is therefore essential for the development of a healthy hoof.  It is greatly valued for its ability to enhance new horn growth and studies show adequate Biotin intake can help expedite the growth process considerably. 

There are several other elements that play a role in healthy hoof development and because of this, if the horse lacking any one of these you will have what we call a limiting factor. Basically what that means is the effectiveness of any one of these nutrients will be limited by the availability of the others, including Biotin. The following will provide some insight into the function of these.

Zinc & Copper are responsible for improving the integrity of the horn, itself. Horses deficient in either one, or both of these nutrients will tend to lose shoes and have cracks in their hooves. This deficiency may also be responsible for poor frog and sole health. As the integrity of the hoof is improved, the quality of the white line will improve, which can be helpful to keep bacteria from penetrating and causing conditions that can lead to white line and thrush. 

l- Lysine is an essential amino acid, which is considered as ‘rate limiting’. This means that in the absence of lysine, the other amino acids don’t absorb as well. This is important to improve efficiency in protein utilization, which will ultimately support growth, blood building, tissue repair, and muscle development. In a hoof supplement it directly applies to how well the l-Methionine is absorbed to enhance the Keratin content in the hoof (Keratin is the protein responsible for improving the strength of the cellular bonds that make up the hoof material).

l-Methionine is an essential amino acid, which is required by the body to assist in the formation of Cysteine & Keratin. Essentially, they help to strengthen the cellular bonds that would need to be improved when deteriorating hoof conditions are evident. The domestic horse today tends to fall short of the required levels of l-Methionine and Lysine, so supplementing is a great way to ensure they’re meeting their requirements.

Mega Hoof Complex, by TLC Animal Nutrition, Inc is the most effective way to ensure that you have the elements in place to support healthy hoof formation!


For a list of available products, see TLC Animal Nutrition, Inc

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